This is an activity that has long been on my 'to do' list, and even though I would love to glide through the water, feel the fresh ocean spray on my face and marvel at the ocean life beneath my board, my worst nightmare is standing upright, in plain sight, for all and sundry to see me...in my swimming togs!
Nevertheless, I can't allow my phobias to distract me from giving readers the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful watersports that we have on the Sunshine Coast and, in this case, stand-up paddle boarding or SUP'ing!
Whether you're a long-time SUP'er or a 'kneel-down' SUP'er (like me) here's a list of top-notch stand-up paddle boarding spots on the Sunshine Coast.
Noosa has to be one of the best locations to SUP, whether you're a newbie or an advanced SUP'er, with miles and miles of pristine waters, rivers, canals, surf breaks and protected bays.
For the flat water SUP'er, Noosa River is your go-to spot, with pristine crystal clear water, sandy beaches and wildlife. Paddle around the tranquil waters of the canals of Noosa Sound and the million dollar plus homes or traverse Noosa River from the mouth, through Noosaville and on past the Noosa Marina and Tewantin.
Romantic SUPing at sunset - Image: Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons
Are you an early bird and looking for an early morning SUP, then the mirror-like waters of Noosa Sound are the perfect destination. Start your paddle from Lions Park and head south west passed the waterfront homes. An easy paddle (apparently) will take you to Quamby Place and Munna Point. If you continue under the bridge towards the Noosa River, turn right and head north west back towards your starting point. This paddle can be accomplished in about an hour.
Are you keen on a romantic sunset SUP? Then simply venture off to Gympie Terrace in Noosaville, pick any spot and paddle the Noosa River with the stunning sunset over Mt Cooroy.
SUP with your favourite fur ball at Noosa - Image: Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons
For advanced SUP'ers, why not try out the famous First Point surf break. If your furry family member loves to SUP too, then Noosa Dog Beach in Claude Batten Drive at the end of Hastings Street in Noosa Woods offers a protected beach inside the Noosa River mouth. Our fur balls can play off-leash in this area too.
The quiet, tranquil waters of the Noosa Everglades provide a serene and beautiful SUP'ing experience in one of the most spectacular waterways of the Sunshine Coast. This system of waterways include clear lakes to the tannin-stained waters of the upper Noosa River.
With year-round spectacular weather and stunning natural surroundings, Noosa could well become your next favourite SUP'ing destination.
Cotton Tree Esplanade
Cotton Tree is very popular with SUPers - Image: Elaine de Wet
Positioned right on trendy Maroochydore's doorstep, you will find Cotton Tree. Cotton Tree is flanked by the sandy banks of the Maroochy River to the north and the beaches of the Pacific Ocean to the west. Encircled by so much water, makes Cotton Tree a natural home to a diverse array of watersport activities, including SUP'ing.
You can park at the Cotton Tree swimming pool and just in front of the caravan park you will find paddle boarding heaven - the flat water and the stunning surrounds rank Cotton Tree as one of the best SUP locations on the Sunshine Coast.
For the more advanced SUP'er (definitely not me), you might be able to catch a few waves at the river mouth.
Westaway Parade, Currimundi
Tranquil waters of Currimundi Lake - Image: Elaine de Wet
Whether you're a landlubber or a water baby, Currimundi Lake has got you covered. The tranquil waters and golden sands of Currimundi Lake connect to the ocean at Currimundi Surf Beach.
Currimundi Lake is home to stunning ecosystems that once covered much of coastal and southern Queensland, but are now rare and vulnerable. Currimundi Lake is truly doubly blessed with spectacular beaches and the natural lake connected to a long, unspoilt stretch of surf beach. No motorised water craft is permitted on the lake, which makes the calm, flat waters of the area, perfect for SUP'ing.
Currimundi Lake is an excellent family day-trip destination, with shallow water perfect for the littlies and of course, us newbie SUP'ers, and with picnic areas, barbecue facilities, tables and seating, ensures a fun family day out.
Between Brisbane and the white beaches of the Sunshine coast, you will find the Pumicestone Passage. Pumicestone Passage is steeped in history, has an abundance of wildlife and natural beauty and is regarded as one of the world's most ecologically important waterways. This Passage stretches for thirty-five kilometres from Caloundra in the north to Deception Bay in the south and is the body of water that separates Bribie Island from the mainland.
For thousands of years, the Gubbi Gubbi people lived on the shores of the Pumicestone Passage, which was a rich source of seafood.
The Pumicestone Passage is a magnificent stretch of calm waters, always peaceful and beautiful and the perfect spot for SUP'ers, from newbies to advanced. This ecological estuary has an array of spectacular marine life on offer - look out for dugongs, dolphins and even turtles, if you can tear your eyes away from the views of the Glasshouse Mountains.
Golden Beach in Caloundra is a great spot to commence your SUP'ing adventure and the good news…there are plenty of sandbars for photographic opportunities (in my language 'rest stops').
Why not make a day of it! Lake Baroon is located between Maleny and Montville in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Tucked away surreptiously in a hidden valley, Lake Baroon forms part of a subtropical rainforest on the Blackall Range. With boating, SUP'ing, fishing, picnicking, BBQ's, playgrounds, tracks and trails all available in this stunning region, there is plenty to keep every member of the family occupied.
The good news is that Lake Baroon only permits electric powered boats and paddle craft, which makes for a more relaxed peaceful time on the water - great for those of us who are still having teething problems.
For the family members not into SUP'ing, why not try the Martin Williams Walk, located at the Southern Recreation Area off Baroon Pocket Road. The walk was designed and built by the lake's first ranger, Martin Williams, himself. On the northern side of the lake, you can take a short stroll down to view Obi Obi Creek and the spillway. Entry for this walk is from the Spillway Recreation Area.
My style of SUPing, kneeling or watching - Image: Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons
According to those in the know stand-up paddle boarding is the fastest growing watersport in the world. Feel the sun rays on your back and enjoy the abundant marine life, in crystal clear waters, from a higher perspective on a paddle board - some SUP'ers liken stand-up paddle boarding to 'walking on water'. Let's get YOLOing - 'you only live once', according to a SUP dictionary.